100 books like Rat Fair

By Leah Rose Kessler, Cleonique Hilsaca (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Rat Fair fans have personally recommended if you like Rat Fair. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries Who Changed the World Through Writing

Benjamin Giroux Author Of I Am Odd, I Am New

From my list on debut children's books of 2021.

Who am I?

Over the past several months, I have had the pleasure to work with amazing authors who, like me, have debut children's books that were released in 2021. These books range in topics, from overcoming your fears to transgender to history, to cute rats that will let your imagination run wild. Being a kid myself, my parents read every night to me. These are books that like mine, are filled with representation that was lacking in those books that were read to me.

Benjamin's book list on debut children's books of 2021

Benjamin Giroux Why did Benjamin love this book?

This book will not only teach you history about different people from diverse backgrounds, it will give you tips on how to write so that you can start changing the world with your own words. This book is a great bedtime book so that your children can learn about some of history's great writers.

By Rochelle Melander, Melina Ontiveros (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mightier Than the Sword as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Throughout history, people have picked up their pens and wielded their words--transforming their lives, their communities, and beyond. Now it's your turn! Representing a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, Mightier Than the Sword connects over forty inspiring biographies with life-changing writing activities and tips, showing readers just how much their own words can make a difference. Readers will explore nature with Rachel Carson, experience the beginning of the Reformation with Martin Luther, champion women's rights with Sojourner Truth, and many more. These richly illustrated stories of inspiring speechmakers, scientists, explorers, authors, poets, activists, and even other kids and young…


Book cover of Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America's First Published Poet

Benjamin Giroux Author Of I Am Odd, I Am New

From my list on debut children's books of 2021.

Who am I?

Over the past several months, I have had the pleasure to work with amazing authors who, like me, have debut children's books that were released in 2021. These books range in topics, from overcoming your fears to transgender to history, to cute rats that will let your imagination run wild. Being a kid myself, my parents read every night to me. These are books that like mine, are filled with representation that was lacking in those books that were read to me.

Benjamin's book list on debut children's books of 2021

Benjamin Giroux Why did Benjamin love this book?

This book, that has an amazing feeling cover, tells an important part of not only American history, but more importantly, women's history. This story is beautifully illustrated using a great color pallet. Follow along on Anne’s journey to the new world and how she changed that world forever!

By Katie Munday Williams, Tania Rex (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

The inspiring story of a Puritan woman whose passion for writing poetry broke barriers.

Late at night, with her children tucked into bed and her husband away on business, Anne Dudley Bradstreet composed poems by candlelight. She let her thoughts from the day tumble out, memorizing each poem line by line before daring to shape the words onto scraps of scarce parchment. Puritan women in the 1600s weren't allowed to be writers. But when the world learned about Anne's poetry, even she was astonished by what happened next.

This charmingly illustrated picture book tells the inspiring story of how a…


Book cover of My Sister, Daisy

Carol Gordon Ekster Author Of Some Daddies

From my list on diverse families.

Who am I?

I was a passionate elementary school teacher for thirty-five years. Now retired, I am grateful that my writing allows me to continue communicating with children. I am always working to improve my craft, help other writers, and embrace my author life. When I am not in a critique group or at my computer I might be doing yoga or biking. 

Carol's book list on diverse families

Carol Gordon Ekster Why did Carol love this book?

This is a heartwarming and sensitive story of a change in a family when a younger brother announces a new gender identity. She is a girl. There's an author's note, telling us this is based on a true story. And the bright darling illustrations add to this needed picture book for all children.


By Adria Karlsson, Linus Curci (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Sister, Daisy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Daisy's older brother is thrilled when he gets a baby brother. They are best buddies who do everything together. But then, his younger brother realizes she is a girl and wants to be called Daisy. Daisy's brother must adjust to the change - including what it means for him and their sibling relationship. A moving, lyrical picture book based on a true story, My Sister, Daisy handles a sensitive subject with warmth and love.


Book cover of Brave in the Water

Benjamin Giroux Author Of I Am Odd, I Am New

From my list on debut children's books of 2021.

Who am I?

Over the past several months, I have had the pleasure to work with amazing authors who, like me, have debut children's books that were released in 2021. These books range in topics, from overcoming your fears to transgender to history, to cute rats that will let your imagination run wild. Being a kid myself, my parents read every night to me. These are books that like mine, are filled with representation that was lacking in those books that were read to me.

Benjamin's book list on debut children's books of 2021

Benjamin Giroux Why did Benjamin love this book?

This book has one of my favorite covers which only accentuates the story of Diante overcoming his fears of swimming. With the help of his wise grandmother, Diante learns breathing techniques to help settle his mind in order to put his face in the water and learn to swim.

By Stephanie Wildman, Jenni Feidler-Aguilar (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brave in the Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Are you afraid to put your face in the water? So is Diante. He would like to play in the pool with other children. He's not afraid to hang upside down, though, and he's surprised to learn his grandma is. Can Diante help Grandma and become brave in the water?

Also available in Spanish - Valiente en el Agua


Book cover of The Rats

Chris McInally Author Of Relict

From my list on creature feature books that aren't Jaws.

Who am I?

For as long as I can remember, I have shared an affinity with monsters. Or at least, what we humans define as monsters. I suppose you could say I have a bit of a Frankenstein complex (if there is such a thing). I see myself in them sometimes. A little sad perhaps, but true, nonetheless. So, who better to compile a "top-5" creature feature list for you to enjoy?

Chris' book list on creature feature books that aren't Jaws

Chris McInally Why did Chris love this book?

If I had to use one word to describe The Rats it would be brutal.

I say this not simply because of the savage depictions of gore and other intense imagery conjured by Herbert throughout, but also the blunt and grim depictions of working-class 1970s London.

This book is so much more than a tale of man-eating monsters. I found it to be a scathing critique of social decay and the prerequisite neglect that gives rise to such conditions. To be honest, I didn’t know what I was walking into and that is why it has stayed with me. Consider yourself warned. I wish I had been.

By James Herbert,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Rats as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special fortieth anniversary edition of The Rats, the classic, bestselling horror novel that launched James Herbert's career.

With a foreword by Neil Gaiman, author of Norse Mythology.

It was only when the bones of the first devoured victims were discovered that the true nature and power of these swarming black creatures with their razor sharp teeth and the taste for human blood began to be realized by a panic-stricken city. For millions of years man and rats had been natural enemies. But now for the first time - suddenly, shockingly, horribly - the balance of power had shifted .…


Book cover of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

M.R. Fournet Author Of Brick Dust and Bones

From my list on giving kids beautiful nightmares.

Who am I?

As a middle grade horror writer, I attribute my love of everything spooky to my early obsession with reading. Of course, my little brain was twisted already, but I found a perfect home in the monsters and ghouls of the library. These are the five books that inspired me to become a writer who scares children in the best possible way.

M.R.'s book list on giving kids beautiful nightmares

M.R. Fournet Why did M.R. love this book?

Another Newberry Medal winner, this book is unlike the rest because the terror doesn’t come from the supernatural. It’s from the cruelty of mankind and scientific testing on animals.

What I love about this book, and the movie made in the “nineteen hundreds”, is it respected the readers. It told us a frightening story and trusted us to be able to process it. Like all the books on this list, the authors didn’t treat us like kids. They treated us like readers, and that’s the best thing a writer can do for their fans.

By Robert C. O'Brien, Zena Bernstein (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Some extraordinary rats come to the aid of a mouse family in this Newbery Medal Award–winning classic by notable children’s author Robert C. O’Brien.

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a…


Book cover of The Rat Prince: A New Twist on Cinderella

Joan Marie Galat Author Of Mortimer: Rat Race to Space

From my list on children’s stories with rat or mouse adventures.

Who am I?

Since writing a middle-grade novel about a lab rat living on the International Space Station, I was curious to see how other authors tackled the challenge of creating stories about talking rats and mice. After all, these rodents are not generally popular in real life. What exciting approaches did others use to get past this dilemma? I wanted to see how they balanced the ideal—being true to the nature of a species—while constructing original characters in challenging situations. Analyzing how other writers succeed is always useful.

Joan's book list on children’s stories with rat or mouse adventures

Joan Marie Galat Why did Joan love this book?

This book is an enchanting takeoff on the Cinderella story. You might think you know what happens the night of the ball, but the author takes you in twisty new directions that explore things you can’t help but be curious about once they are presented to you. For example, how does a rat feel about being turned into a human for a night? Told through the voices of both Cinderella and Prince Char, readers meet a rat who turns out to be wise and compassionate, alongside a Cinderella that is fearless and inspiring. I like how the characters are richly developed, and the way humor and originality flow throughout this quick-paced, gripping adventure.

By Bridget Hodder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rat Prince as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters moved into Lancastyr Manor, she was known as the beautiful Lady Rose de Lancastyr. Then her stepmother forced her to become a kitchen maid and renamed her. At first the rats of the manor figure her for a lack-wit and take pity on her by bringing her food and a special family heirloom. But when Cinderella's stepmother finds a way to prevent her from attending the ball, the rats join forces to help her. The night of the ball is filled with magic and secrets - not least of all who Lady Rose will choose…


Book cover of Walter: The Story of a Rat

Joan Marie Galat Author Of Mortimer: Rat Race to Space

From my list on children’s stories with rat or mouse adventures.

Who am I?

Since writing a middle-grade novel about a lab rat living on the International Space Station, I was curious to see how other authors tackled the challenge of creating stories about talking rats and mice. After all, these rodents are not generally popular in real life. What exciting approaches did others use to get past this dilemma? I wanted to see how they balanced the ideal—being true to the nature of a species—while constructing original characters in challenging situations. Analyzing how other writers succeed is always useful.

Joan's book list on children’s stories with rat or mouse adventures

Joan Marie Galat Why did Joan love this book?

This is the tale of a writer and reader who share a house. The writer, however, is a reclusive human and the reader a rat longing for a friend. The author’s approach is clever and subtle. And while I’m naturally drawn to books about writers, it was the rat that captivated me. I read this book rather quickly. I had to know if Walter could find his way through the difficulty of loneliness. 

By Barbara Wersba, Donna Diamond (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Walter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Two lonely creatures find that companionship is closer than they thought in this charming tale of friendship

This is the story of a writer and a reader. The writer is a person. The reader is a rat. They share an old house on Long Island, but have never met. How these two lonely creatures discover one another is the essence of this story.


Book cover of Rats: Observations on the History & Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants

Bethany Brookshire Author Of Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains

From my list on making you rethink your place in the natural world.

Who am I?

I am a science journalist and former scientist who focuses on human-wildlife interactions, especially when those interactions turn sour. I’ve been fascinated by the animals people hate for years now, especially since I got to write on the earliest origins of the house mouse. To gain expertise, I was a 2019-2020 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, and have spent the past three years immersing myself in all things pest—from reaching into a coyote’s stomach to taking a whiff of elephant repellant. My freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Science News, Sierra, and many other outlets. 

Bethany's book list on making you rethink your place in the natural world

Bethany Brookshire Why did Bethany love this book?

It seems like a bit of a long title for a New York Times Bestseller but I promise this book is educational, entertaining, and worth every second. Sullivan spent a year observing a rat-infested alley, and came away with a better understanding of our least-favorite rodents, as well as the many people who spend their lives trying to keep rats and humans apart. At first it might seem weird to sit outside and watch the rats every night, but by the end, you can’t imagine doing anything else.

By Robert Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Rats as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Public Library Book for the Teenager
New York Public Library Book to Remember
PSLA Young Adult Top 40 Nonfiction Titles of the Year

"Engaging...a lively, informative compendium of facts, theories, and musings."-Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Behold the rat, dirty and disgusting! Robert Sullivan turns the lowly rat into the star of this most perversely intriguing, remarkable, and unexpectedly elegant New York Times bestseller.

Love them or loathe them, rats are here to stay-they are city dwellers as much as (or more than) we are, surviving on the effluvia of our society. In Rats, the critically acclaimed bestseller,…


Book cover of '48

Daniel Cotton Author Of Life Among The Dead

From my list on the end of the world and being the last person on earth.

Who am I?

What would I do if I was the last person on Earth? I have wondered this since I was a child after watching apocalyptic movies; Damnation Alley, Night of the Comet, and of course the Romero Living Dead movies. Would I be able to make it? Could I not only survive but contend with whatever menaces there were to face be they aliens, monsters, the living dead, or the actual living. My imagination would run loose, putting myself in the shoes of the characters to see how I’d fare, what would I do differently. These little escapes grew and matured into my own stories.

Daniel's book list on the end of the world and being the last person on earth

Daniel Cotton Why did Daniel love this book?

It’s been a while since I have read this one but it has always been one of my favorites. An American pilot is stranded in post World War 2 Britain. In this reality, moments before defeat, Adolf Hitler released a biological weapon that decimated the population. A hemorrhagic virus that attacks certain blood types, those not killed initially are slowly dying and desperate for a cure that they think is in the main character's blood since he is unaffected. The action in this book is some of the best I have ever read as the ‘Black Shirts’ chase our hero through the war-torn city.

By James Herbert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked '48 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'48 by international bestseller and Master of Horror, James Herbert, explores a horrifying alternative end to the Second World War.

In 1945, Hitler unleashed the Blood Death on Britain as his final act of vengeance.

Those who died at once were the lucky ones. The really unfortunate took years. The survivors - people like me, who had the blood group that kept us safe from the disease - were now targets for those who believed our blood could save them.

I survived for three years. I lived alone, spending my days avoiding the fascist Blackshirts who wanted my blood for…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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